We all know Odell Beckham had a good time attending LSU’s National Championship game this past January. In fact, he may have had too good a time. Hopefully the NFL star got his money’s worth (no pun intended) celebrating the Tigers’ first title since 2007 because he won’t be permitted on school grounds for the next two years, the result of OBJ passing out $100 bills to players after LSU’s resounding 42-25 triumph over Clemson.
Beckham’s ban from campus facilities was one of several self-imposed punishments announced by LSU Wednesday, as first reported by Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated. Along with Beckham’s temporary exile, LSU has also docked itself eight football scholarships over the next two years. Recruiting visits will be restricted as well with the school hoping these sanctions satisfy the NCAA following a nearly two-year investigation that revealed unauthorized booster payments totaling $180,000 to the father of former LSU offensive lineman Vadal Alexander.
“LSU has worked proactively and in cooperation with the NCAA to identify and self-report any violations that occurred within our football program," wrote Senior Associate Athletic Director Robert Munson in a statement to Sports Illustrated. “We believe these self-imposed penalties are appropriate and we will continue to coordinate and cooperate with the NCAA on this matter.”
The NCAA’s investigation remains ongoing with LSU hoping to avoid a postseason ban. The Tigers’ basketball program is also under fire with the NCAA looking into allegations against head coach Will Wade, who is suspected of arranging illegal payments to multiple recruits. As for Beckham, the $2,000 in cash he distributed following LSU’s victory at the Superdome is considered a Level III (the least serious) violation. At the time, LSU claimed the bills handed out were fake, though Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, now of the Cincinnati Bengals, later confirmed the money supplied by Beckham was indeed real.
A New Orleans native who chose LSU over offers from Ole Miss and Nebraska, Beckham totaled 143 catches for 2,340 yards and 12 touchdowns over three seasons in Baton Rouge before declaring for the 2014 NFL Draft, where he was selected 12th overall by the New York Giants.